How a Teen’s Smile Affects Their Self-Confidence

Teenage years are among the most influential when it comes to self-development. Today, teens have to be more responsible than ever before in keeping up with school activities, homework, applications, and friends. After all, everyone here at Forster Orthodontics was a teen once themselves. With so much on your plate, the last thing you want to worry about is your smile and feeling embarrassed if you’re not happy with how it looks. If your smile is a concern and it's affecting your confidence, you're not alone.

Healthy Smiles and Confidence

Good first impressions are essential, and while we all know it's what is on the inside that counts, smiles are often the first thing a person notices when meeting someone new. Being self-conscious with your smile is challenging enough as a grown-up, but for teens, it can lead to bullying and feelings of self-doubt. In your teenage years, you are especially sensitive to the perception of friends and classmates. It's not always easy to hear adults say since it sounds like they're just trying to make you feel better, but when people pick on others, it’s typically an outward reflection about their internal insecurities.

The threat of bullying and the external perception of others aren't the only things that lead to having insecurities. Beginning around age five or six, children begin to develop a familiarity with their physical appearance as it relates to their growing self-identity. As growth accelerates in the tween and teen years, this attention to appearance enhances. It is common for teens to compare themselves with peers, and when you don't feel like you're on a level playing field, it’s not fun. We believe that everyone should feel confident with their smile. 

There are many benefits to straight teeth and a functional bite including a boost in both your oral and overall health but the aesthetic appearance of a confident smile shouldn’t be diminished. At the end of the day, if you believe you look good, you carry yourself a little taller, and that pours over into other aspects. Confident teens grow and learn because they face new experiences head-on, they can be more motivated as they’re willing to try and set goals, and peer pressure is less of a risk. 

Braces Then and Now

While today’s braces are smaller, more comfortable and way more attractive than they were in the past, they still carry the “metal mouth” perception. When faced with the option of clear aligners for a more discrete treatment option vs. metal braces, many teens love the clear aligner option. For patients with more severe bite issues, traditional metal braces may be the best option to produce great results.

The Answer

If the idea of wearing metal braces makes you cringe, Invisalign clear aligners may be a great alternative. While it will depend on the complexity of your case and Dr. Forster's treatment diagnosis, in many cases, it’s definitely on the treatment options menu. Invisalign (and Invisalign Teen) straighten teeth using a series of clear, removable, flexible aligners. They’re comfy, virtually invisible and you can take them out to brush and floss and eat (no food restrictions or broccoli stuck in your brackets!). One of our patients said that they frequently receive surprised reactions from their friends because they don't even realize they are wearing aligners! Aligners are designed with a teen’s teeth and lifestyle in mind. They even through in a few complimentary replacements in case something happens to them - parents love that.

The technology used to evaluate the best course of treatment is very advanced. Dr. Forster uses his iTero digital scanner to take gag-free impressions. He then uploads the digital impressions, your x-rays and photos to create a 3D model of your mouth. You'll be able to see how your smile will look at the end of the treatment. Dr. Forster uses precise techniques to move each tooth into place digitally and sends the treatment plan to Invisalign. They create custom-fitted aligners based on his prescription. You’ll wear your aligners all day except during meals and while you brush and change your aligners as directed. Your teeth will gradually migrate closer to their final position until you complete the last set of aligners.

Ready to take life on with a renewed confidence? Forster Orthodontics offers Invisalign treatment in both our Tiverton and Newport locations. Schedule your free consultation today, and Dr. Forster will let you know the best plan of action for treatment. Give us a call at (401) 619-1888 and take the first step towards your happy and healthy smile.